With images that capture the eye, bend the rules and challenge the imagination, Yavapai College honors Surrealism’s history, its founding artists, its modern-day heirs, and Arizona’s critical role in the movement. Join us for Southwest Surrealism/Surreal Southwest, June 7 to July 20, at YC’s Prescott Campus Art Gallery.

Forty-eight artworks, featuring the work of 37 artists, will anchor a breathtaking exhibit delving as much into Surrealism’s history as its future. “Artists from around the country – including California, New York, New Mexico, Utah, Michigan, Louisiana and New Jersey – will be displayed.” YC Prescott Gallery Director Timothy Hull explained. “The show is mostly paintings and photographs, but you’ll also see a few sculpture pieces that really stand out.”

A powerful exhibit with ambitious reach, Southwest Surrealism/Surreal Southwest was created to honor the 100th Anniversary of “The Surrealist Manifesto,” André Breton’s groundbreaking treatise that defined the movement. “The second side of the exhibition celebrates the place that Northern Arizona occupies in Surrealist history.” Hull explained. “The great Surrealist artists Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning built a small house in Sedona in the late 1940’s, and then brought pretty much all the early Surrealists there to visit – artists such as Man Ray, Yves Tanguy, Marcel Duchamp and other bright lights of the early 20th Century avant-garde.”

Juried by esteemed artist and Max Ernst’s granddaughter, Amy Ernst, Southwest Surrealism/Surreal Southwest will also feature original lithographs from Max Ernest and Dorothea Tanning, on loan from The Capricorn Hill Center for Surrealism. “The Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation in Prescott is also loaning us a wonderful photo of Max Ernst by surrealist photographer Frederick Sommer, Max’s close friend who lived and worked in Prescott's Mountain Club.” Hull said. “And we'll display two amazing collages that Sommer completed in his 90s.”

Southwest Surrealism/Surreal Southwest charts Surrealism from its storied post-war roots to the artists who define, and challenge, the genre today.

“I’m very excited to be in this show,” Prescott artist Sallie Cross Shore said. Her painting, “Apprehensive Dreams,” concerns “that push-pull of finding beauty in lunacy, or chaos. Finding beauty in the dark.” Surrealism, she says, can capture ideas that defy logic or words. “I love it when people walk up to my work and inspect it. There are always hidden words, hidden figures. A lot of people get it, and it makes some uncomfortable. To me, its more important to inspire some kind of response or curiosity from the viewer.”

Southwest Surrealism/Surreal Southwest will feature a number of local artists – Dale O'Dell, Rick Fredrick, Thatcher Bohrman, Jill Crowley, John McDonald and others. Sedona’s Allison Nichols will also be featured, as well as prominent Valley artists like Swapna Das, Tom Carlson, Matthew Pinkus, Michael Farmer, Luke Watson, Bekah Unsworth, Igor Kogan and Jeff Falk.

Art works from all around the country were submitted for judging without identifying the artist or their locale. “However, [judge] Amy Ernst ended up picking a lot of artists from Arizona.” Hull said. “To me, that means Surrealism is alive and well in this very surreal state of ours.” 


Southwest Surrealism/Surreal Southwest opens Friday June 7, and runs through Saturday, July 20 at Yavapai College’s Prescott Campus Gallery in the Jim and Linda Lee Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon Street in Prescott. The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and admission is free. The gallery will hold an opening reception Friday, June 28, from 5 to 7 p.m., as part of Prescott’s 4th Friday Artwalk. The closing reception will include a panel discussion on Surrealism, Wednesday, July 17, from 5 to 7 p.m. Both events will feature snacks and a cash bar.

For further information on Southwest Surrealism/Surreal Southwest, please contact Yavapai College Prescott Art Gallery Manager Tim Hull at: or call (928) 776.2031.


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